Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Finish

Half Marathon

My Thanksgiving morning began like it has for the past several years — early alarm and a drive over to Mandarin from the beach. The morning regiment included Advil, coffee, 16 ozs of water and powder vitamin supplements. I felt pretty good but worried about the impending thirteen miles of running. Training for our marathon in February ‘08 has been progressing but I’m still not as strong as I would like to be. Morning weather was cool with a light drizzle blanketing the First Coast. Running in rain is not always a bad thing but it can hamper efforts on a long distance trek. My goal was to finish in 1:38. Setting goals and accomplishing them is part of the process — I had no idea (or confidence) that I could post a sub 1:40 time.
Reaching the start line and sharing Thanksgiving morning with fellow runners is very special. Approximately 3500 individuals packed the six lanes of San Jose Blvd. — everyone with their own goal (or interest). Chris, Phil, Brad, Jonathan and Tim were part of the small group that would help set my pace. Unfortunately, when the start gun sounded we split up — I was going to run without my group. If you have never run a half marathon it’s hard to explain managing pace and distance but your body dictates a large portion of the effort and your mind has to be willing to ignore the obvious challenges in order to accomplish the task. Running alone was not what my mind had intended but my body was “set” and the race went well for the first seven miles.
I think the vitamin powder and coffee was a bad mix and my stomach began rebelling during mile eight. Stopping to deal with an upset stomach became an unexpected factor in my goal to complete a decent run. I walked three times over the final six miles in hopes of calming my gut. Legs and breathing were good but the mid section was tight.
Fortunately I started with a faster pace than the average pace time I set for myself.
With 1.5 miles left I was struggling but felt my time was still inside the projected goal.
Imagine the shock when I rounded the last corner to see the finish clock at 1:37:35 with over 200 feet to go! I had to sprint. The clock hit 1:38 exactly as I ran across the finish pad. Wow, that was unexpected and my stomach reaction was even MORE unexpected.
I dropped to the ground and spent the next couple minutes with dry heaves and stomach cramps so severe I was uncertain what physical reaction would come next.
Thankfully it only took a couple minutes to recover. It wasn’t a pretty run or a memorable finish but I have to admit a small amount of satisfaction in the accomplishment.
Thanksgiving was spent early with running friends, later with an old friend and in the afternoon with family. I spent the day in an endorphin filled zone relaxing with people that are close and eating like a king. Not bad when you think about it.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Thanksgiving Club

Waking up two hours before running 18 miles sounds nuts but an early morning visit with Dr. Advil was the only way I could imagine getting through 3.5 hours of foot pounding — eight hundred mgs and 30 ounces of water is my new “magic cure”.
The morning temp hovered in the low to mid 40’s. Vehicles loaded with determined runners flowed into the southbank parking lot. It was 6:45 and all of the 26.2 with Donna participants were ready to put body and mind toward an important test.
Just showing up is worthy of recognition.
Committing to a run that would get you from downtown Jacksonville out to the beach is especially terrific.

Race Directors, runners and water handlers (unsung heroes out on the course making sure our dedicated group has the necessary hydration).

I’m not certain what time all of the running efforts wrapped up on Saturday but I bet it was close to noon.
FIVE to SIX HOURS of a Saturday morning!!!!!
How impressive. HOW UNSELFISH!!!
When individuals give of their time and build on a cause through self sacrifice we know that the work gets blessed. The larger the masses the larger the blessing.
We have some great people and this will be a great race.

At mile eight I allowed myself to begin talking out loud about food.
Eggs over easy, wheat toast, cheese grits, sausage patties and fresh squeezed OJ…
Metro Diner…
Thinking (and talking) about my breakfast reward helped the last 10 miles go a little easier. I guess this is where I could pick on Phil or Chris for messing up the directions and adding another mile (19) to the run but I won’t point fingers... cough, Chris, cough.. . The breakfast was much to good to complain about an additional mile. After Dr. Advil the best cure for what ails a runner is FOOD. Good food with good friends (that have spent 4 hours doing something that seems “nuts” to a large percentage of the world) is a marvelous way to start your day.

So, I’m running a half marathon Thanksgiving morning. Thirteen plus miles and 1.5 hours of running — it will be fast and I will be hungry! I think Mom’s turkey just might hit the spot.

Thanks for ALL the encouraging support!!

Study - Donna 2

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Marathon Training – By the numbers

The Numbers

3000 - Individuals currently signed up to run the marathon and half marathon
50 – Every US state represented with runners participating from across the country
18 – Miles the training group will run on Saturday, November 17
2.5 – Months until our marathon

I ran this morning on the beach. Oooooh my Goooosh!
Fall weather in Jacksonville Beach is THE BEST!!!
When I stepped outside for my early morning beach run the only thing on my mind was how my feet would handle the next six miles of pounding.
Mile two was exceptional.
The foot pain was gone and my body was in a rhythm.
Early brilliant blue sunlit sky and crisp salt air recharged my efforts.
I owned the beach - an occasional jogger or some random couple would intrude my peripheral view but (for the most part) the only distractions were the masses of seagulls lingering by the oceans edge.
It was special!
When you’re in the zone the flood gates open – self-realization, self-actualization, unbounded goals are open for personal observation.
How often do you have an opportunity to confront self-actualization?
I’m so fortunate for the life I live and the people I know.
It’s not always simple or easy but, I embrace the moment.
This morning will spill over to tomorrow.
Tomorrow will be new and it will bring new challenges.
Nothing can stand in the way if you set your mind to it.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Sneak Peek

This month I will start producing paintings for my fundraising show that is planned for early February. I am dedicated to creating original art that captures the spirit of running. These paintings will be filled with energy, emotion and a personal mark that I hope connects with everyone that knows me. My commitment is to complete 10 original pieces. The fundraising goal is 10,000.00.

Please take a look at the first "study" that I've produced.
The final piece will be developed using several mediums.
I am interested in your feedback.
You can reply directly to my email or post a reply.

Thank you for continuing your support.

Study of Tim